Heaton Park Tramway 'Blackpool Transport' event

Heaton Park Tramway ‘Blackpool Transport’ event

23rd November 2010
On Sunday the Heaton Park Tramway held its much anticipated Blackpool Transport gala. Featuring Beamish’s Blackpool 31 (which is there for the winter/spring season) and also a visit by Blackpool Transport’s open top Balloon 706 ‘Princess Alice’ as well as the two resident former Blackpool cars, Vanguard 619 and the works tram/rail grinder – the latter being illuminated for the occasion. A selection of relevant buses were provided by the Lancastrian Transport Trust and a shuttle bus service ran to the Museum of Transport at Boyle Street in Manchester.
The Saturday had consisted of a day long photo charter, with Sunday being a public event. Despite the gloomy (typically Mancunian – and having lived there for 24 years I can say that!) weather, the event was busy and a constant service was provided, running to 7pm (providing a chance for nocturnal riding and photographs). Even as the rails became damp and slippery the trams kept running and all in all it was a terrific event and one surely appreciated by the tramway enthusiast.
Below: Two Blackpool open toppers… 706 and 31 pause at the depot and waiting shelter. This is original tramway, not a new system – the only such example in the country.
Below: 31 pauses after reversing at Middleton Road. This was the former entrance for trams turning into the park onto what was essentially a substantial siding.

Below: The Vanguard heads towards the boating lake, Middleton Road being in the distance.

Below: Trams by night – the illuminations working to effect!

Below: A connecting service as a restored SELNEC (South East Lancashire, North East Cheshire – an amalgamation of numerous corporation systems and later to become Greater Manchester Buses) Leyland waits on Middleton Road as the works/illuminated tram reverses at the terminus.